Holly limped through the door holding the hand of a kindergarten teacher’s assistant. She cried out, “Nurse, I got a bad ouchie on my knee.” I took her hand and led her to the treatment area. We faced one another on small but sturdy chairs while I cleansed her knee, and made an effort to keep her distracted from the uncomfortable process. I asked what they were doing in her class that day.
Her tears stopped as she told me “We are thinking about different letters. We take the first letter of our first name and try to think of a word that starts with the same letter. It should be something we think we are.” “Oh tell me about your letter, Holly,” I encouraged as I continued my task.
“My name starts with H…and it makes the the sound Hhhhhhh. And, I chose the word ‘happy’—because I usually am”. She smiled at her own joke and I giggled with her.
“My first name starts with the letter S,” I offered, as I saw her attention back on her knee. “Do you know the sound of that letter, Holly?” She quickly responded. “Oh, yes! It sounds like a snake and goes Sssssss.” “You are right, Holly. I wonder what word I should pick?” (I was nearly ready to apply the band-aid!)
Holly reached out her finger and pushed it into my slacks-covered thigh in front of her. “Well, I think you should pick the word ‘SOFT.’” We giggled together again.
I didn’t tell her I had hoped for “smart” or perhaps “sweet.”